Mad 112 case

2 09 2021

Prachatai reports that an Article 112 complaint has been lodged against former royalist and anti-Thaksin Shinawatra campaigner Thanat Thanakitamnuay.

Longtime readers might remember him from this report. More recently, he has joined pro-democracy activists, apologized for his previous politics, and made speeches to anti-regime activists. He was injured in an event on 13 August, with his family saying “his right eye was hit by a ‘blunt cylindrical object’ – which … was [probably] a tear gas canister – tearing the cornea, rupturing the eyeball, and causing his retina to peel off.”

For his recent appearances at rallies, on 30 August 2021:

Nangnoi Atsawakittikorn from the Thailand Help Center for Cyberbullying Victims and Jakkapong Klinkaew from the Centre of the People for the Protection of Monarchy filed a royal defamation complaint [Prachatai means a lese majeste complaint] against Thanat at the Samranrat Police Station on behalf of the “People’s Network for the Protection of the Royal Institution”.

Just to remind readers, Article 112 states: “Whoever defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years.” In 2013, however, the the royalist Supreme Court decided “that the law also applies to all previous monarchs…”.

The ultra-royalists have used this to bring some ludicrous allegations and charges, even involving, more than once, a dead royal tail-wagger, historical kings and members of the royal family not covered by the words used in the law.

Thanat. Clipped from Prachatai

In the complaint against Thanat, the ultra-royalists complain about him “wearing an outfit similar to one worn by the late King Rama IX.”

They complained that:

… Thanat was intentionally mocking the late King Rama IX by wearing a suit, an eyepatch and a camera to a protest on 22 August…. According to Nangnoi, Thanat’s costume and camera were props employed to ridicule a well-known photograph of King Rama IX.  The late King often wore a camera around his neck when travelling upcountry.

Of course, Thanat’s eye was covered because he had been injured in a previous rally (see above).

These mad monarchists, who have lodged many lese majeste complaints over the past year, added another complaint, asserting “that a speech Thanat gave on 25 August calling for Section 112 to be abolished reflects his intent to overthrow the monarchy.”

Again, the idea that calling for Article 112 to be abolished can be either lese majeste and/or sedition charges has been increasingly common.

In addition, as Prachatai points out:

This is not the first time that royalists have taken umbrage with the costumes of pro-democracy activists. Conservative netizens put up a storm of critical commentary after the 28 January 2021 posting of a picture featuring Chaiamorn ‘Ammy’ Kaewwiboonpan, a lead singer in the Bottom Blues Band, and actress Inthira Charoenpura which Chaiamorn dressed in an outfit similar to one worn by King Rama IX.

Mad monarchists get madder by the minute. Internationally, the country’s judicial system is a joke.





Monarchy reform reaction

6 08 2021

Following the recent call to re-emphasize monarchy reform, the official royalist reaction has been quick. As usual, the royalists have run to their allies in the military.

Jakkapong Klinkaew led his group of royalists to submit “a petition to Army Chief Gen. Narongpan Jitkaewtae … asking the military to step in to protect the monarchy from threats posed by anti-establishment elements.”

The so-called Centre of the People for the Protection of Monarchy is frightened by a proposed protest “by the anti-establishment Free Youth movement, for this Saturday at the Democracy Monument, after which the protesters intend to march to the Grand Palace.”

The royalists “want all security agencies to protect the monarchy against threats from the anti-monarchy protesters.” Of course, the Grand Palace has not been the real royal residence for decades, although King Ananda Mahidol was killed there in 1946.

Madness is a royalist syndrome, displayed by Warong Dechgitvigrom, a leader of the ultra-royalist Thai Pakdee. He reckons that those planning the rally “might want to spread COVID-19, which he described as ‘biological weapon’, and then to put the blame on the government and the monarchy.”

Such insanity might be ignored but we suspect that other ultra-royalists harbor such nonsensical beliefs or, more likely, are happy to purvey such fake news.

Warong thinks the time is coming for decisive action to destroy anti-monarchists, saying they should wait until the “situation is right and, at that moment, everything will change and it will not end the way it was.”

The ultra-royalists have support from former state officials. For example, Nanthiwat Samart, “former deputy director of the National Intelligence Agency,”

questioned the motives of the Free Youth movement in urging people to march to the Grand Palace on August 7th, which marks the day, 56 years ago, when the then outlawed Communist Party of Thailand launched its first armed rebellion against the Thai state.

He said that the Grand Palace is the official residence of the King [but is not used as a residence], and houses the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which are highly respected by the Thai people.

Nanthiwat demanded that the the protesters not be allowed “to desecrate the Grand Palace,” calling on the authorities to “protect this sacred venue.”

Defense Forces chief Gen Chalermpol Srisawat has issued a decree that “bans all gatherings that risk spreading Covid-19 and are in violation of the emergency decree.” Violators are threatened with two years in prison.

Police have already become more aggressive and dangerous, and this pattern is likely to continue.





Royalist “scum”

4 08 2021

A Reuters report explains that “103 people from Thailand’s youth-led anti-government protests now charged with insulting or threatening King … Vajiralongkorn or his immediate family, a crime punishable by up to 15 years’ imprisonment. Hundreds more face other criminal charges.” Knowing the exact numbers is difficult because not all cases come to public view.

Arnon on the left

Commenting on the charges and jail time, one of those charged, lawyer Arnon Nampa commented “I think it has been worthwhile. Now the society can move forward and people can talk about the monarchy…”.

While some might say that nothing much has changed and the king remains politically and economically powerful, a crack in the royalist hegemonic discourse has been established and anti-monarchism is more widespread than royalists wish to admit.

Indeed, royalists are fighting a battle seeking to paper over the cracks in the kingdom.

Thai Enquirer reports that an “ultra-royalist group [has] asked the criminal court to revoke the bail of pro-reform leaders … saying they are repeatedly breaking the conditions of their release by continuing to speak out against the monarchy.”

Jakkapong Klinkaew, the leader of the People’s Centre Protecting the Institution, says “The protestors have caused chaos within society, affecting the private sector and damaging public property…”. He added that “many business owners and royalists” consider the protesters “scum.”

Jakkapong went into a meltdown-like rant, admitting the regime was pretty hopeless, but railed against protesters causing “social conflict” and “unrest,” being “violent,” and spreading “fake news” and the virus (the latter being fake news).

His group demanded that courts revoke the bail of:

Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, Arnon Nampa and Jatupat “Pai Daodin” Boonpattararaksa, who have all been charged with lese-mejeste and sedition for organizing pro-democracy rallies since June 2020.

The letter said the protest leaders have continued to join protests and making speeches against the royal institution in breach of their bail conditions.

The group is panicked by the support being gained by protesters, even in the lockdown.








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